We are delighted to be working once more with Key Fund – one of the UK’s leading social investors – to help celebrate 20 years of investing in 2020.
To date, the anti-poverty organisation has invested £54M in social enterprises – businesses that put people and the planet at the heart of their enterprise.
Key Fund was one of our first clients, so they are a team we truly know and love.
Writing their social impact report, award entries, and case studies over the years has given an insight into the truly remarkable and ground-breaking work – supporting thousands of social entrepreneurs, who are making a meaningful difference in our local communities.
In 2012, we did media work on Key Fund’s Top 10 social enterprises including Barnsley Community Build, Settle Hydro, Higher Rhythm and Doncaster Refurnish, who were showcased in The Guardian.
Below is a throwback to the photos taken then of some of the top 10; today, these social enterprises are still going strong! It’s a remarkable testament to what can be achieved with the right access to finance – in the right hands.
Higher Rhythm in Doncaster was set up by two ex-college lecturers as a recording studio and has grown into a multi-faceted sector leading creative organisation.
Barnsley Community Build delivers training and employment in the construction industry for NEETs.
Doncaster Refurnish rescues furniture from landfill, refurnishes and sells it at an affordable price to disadvantaged people, alongside multiple anti-poverty and community initiatives.
Settle Hydro, a pioneering community green energy scheme, was in part led by Ann Harding, who has gone on with Key Fund investments to revolutionise Settle’s Victoria Hall as a buzzing arts venue.
This year, Key Fund has £5 million of blended (grant/loan) finance available for communities across the North and Midlands. The ‘alternative bank’ is inviting people who want to scale up or set up a social enterprise to access the finance.
Matt Smith, CEO of Key Fund, said: “Social enterprises are simply businesses with a social or environmental mission at their heart. With 20 years’ experience, we know what works, how to support social entrepreneurs, and how to sustain businesses. Over the years, this movement has grown and is now at the forefront of tackling society’s biggest challenges, from homelessness, addiction, loneliness, poverty and inequality to the environment, with community-led green energy schemes, projects tackling food waste, and recycling enterprises.”
Over two decades, Key Fund has given business support and finance to over 2,500 organisations, enabling 1,354 safeguarding 2,171 jobs and creating 520 new businesses across the North and the Midlands.
All the businesses Key Fund supports have been turned down by mainstream banks or lenders. 80% of investments are in businesses that operate in the top 30% most deprived areas on the indices of multiple deprivation.
Matt said: “Against a backdrop of austerity and rising inequality, local people are taking control of the issues that matter to them with real passion. Social entrepreneurs are remarkable individuals working at the coalface of their communities, offering very real solutions to endemic problems. They transform lives.”
We’re compiling some incredible case studies of enterprises Key Fund has invested and supported in over the years.
For any media enquiries, please contact email@example.com M: 07534892715.
To find out more about Key Fund, go to thekeyfund.co.uk